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The best things to see & do away from the track – 2021 Austrian Grand Prix

The best things to do away from the Red Bull Ring for fans attending the 2021 Austrian Grand Prix on July 2-4, including the best of Graz and the Styrian region.

 

The Red Bull Ring is located in the heart of the beautiful region of Styria, known as the ‘green heart’ of Austria. The hilly, forested region at the foot of the Alps is popular for skiing in winter (and hiking, cycling in summer) and also famous for its tasty local fare (think hearty schnitzels and frothy beers), wineries, history and castles.

Things to do in Graz

Austria’s second city may not have the grandeur of Vienna, but it’s still an historic city with a lot to offer tourists. There’s a good selection of bars and restaurants in the beautiful Graz old town (Altstadt von Graz) to check out after a long day at the track. Head to the Hauptplatz (Main Square), where there is often some kind of F1-themed display or party, then explore the surrounding streets for restaurants and bars. There is a good vibe on Freiheitsplatz with several lively bars. We stayed in the north of the city and went to a busy franchise of the Hooters restaurant, which got bonus points for showing repeats of the Austrian Grand Prix from the mid-1980s. Here’s some tourist ideas for Graz:

  • Visit Schlossberg hill (with the Uhrturm clocktower) and Eggenberg Castle, part of the Five Must-See Attractions in Graz.
  • Check out Kunsthaus Graz, the art museum of Graz that was completed in 2003 when the city held the title of European Capital of Culture.
  • Take an open-top bus tour, every day (except for Saturday) from 11:00-12:30 (adults €18 / children €9)
  • Go to a concert: Styriarte is an annual classical music festival (June 19-July 19, 2020); concerts take place at the Congress Center.

Things to do in Styria

  • Visit the Spa town of Bad Waltersdorf, 60km East of Graz.
  • Go wine tasting in the Steiermark area (East & South of Graz), which is famous for its white wines, especially sauvignon blanc; there are hundreds of picturesque producers dotted around the region.
  • Learn about tourist activities in Styria on the main Austria tourism website
  • Information on outdoors pursuits in Steiermark

Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum

Around 10km from the city of Graz is the small village of Thal. The village is the birthplace of Hollywood star Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2011, his former childhood home became a museum dedicated to the former Mr Universe. Items on display include props from Terminator films and some of his very first dumb-bells. The museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm in the summer season. Entrance fee is €8.90 for adults, €3.90 for children. More details can be found on the museum’s website.

Scenic Styria

The summer months are the perfect time to go hiking in the lavish Styrian mountains. The Red Bull Ring has plenty of mountains in the vicinity, including Kornock and Kreischberg. Cable cars remain open at some resorts throughout the year, so this is something to bear in mind as a fun (and more relaxing!) way to explore the area. There are also plenty of lakes which are perfect for swimming, rowing and sailing. Check out the Salzkammergut Cycle Way which passes 13 of Styria’s finest lakes and offers breathtaking scenery.

Been to Graz or Styria? Leave a comment with your recommendations!

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